It is likely that Kwanjai spent most of her life in the logging
industry and it is probably during this time that her leg was
broken. After 1989 when logging was banned, she moved to the south
of Thailand where she worked in the sustainable logging industry, at
rubber tree plantations. Soon Kwanjai was too old for hard labor
jobs, but still needed to work to earn her keep. For eleven years
she worked in the tourism industry in Pattaya giving rides. After
all those years carrying tourists, Kwanjai was slowing down and
didn't have much energy left. She was retired from her tourist job
and taken to Surin to be sold. Had she not been rescued, Kwanjai
would have most likely ended up as a street begging elephant.
Kwanjai boarded her transport bound for Elephant Nature Park without
any trouble, seeming to know that the final destination would be
worth the effort. The journey took longer than usual because she
kept rearranging her support poles and frequent stops had to be
made, but after 26 hours Kwanjai arrived safely on Sunday November
Kwanjai is still in the process of adapting and settling in. She
is very confident and not afraid of any elephant here (including
Hope!). At this time she is keeping mostly to herself though she has
made some acquaintances. She had incredibly long tushes which at
some point in the past were trimmed at an angle to form sharp edges.
She had given a few of the resident eles some superficial scrapes
with her "twin daggers" which was hindering the friend making
process. We decided that it would be best to trim the tips of her
tushes so that they would be flat, not sharp.
Kwan Jai had only a short time with us but the few months
that she had with her new friends at the herd showed us how, even
after a dreadful life, that healing can happen anytime.
*Records and official documentation of elephants of more than 10
years ago are sketchy at best. The dates we use are our best
Kwan Jai passed
away 04 March 2013.